You are Fury, an unstoppable warrior and star of your own comic series on a mission to destroy an ancient evil. While Fury’s story is thin, it is told through multiple comic book settings ensuring that players will never linger for too long in one area.
The real story is about the writer, known as the “creator” to those within the comic, and is told through various letters, social media comment sections, text messages, and press releases which you’ll unlock as you progress. It is a story about a writer losing passion for his creation and his feelings of inadequacy when he compares his life to those of his friends and family. As the writer loses passion for his creation, you witness the resulting feedback from fans, reviewers, and press agents. The writer’s story is a surprisingly poignant look at moving on from a once loved creation and learning to look past your perceived failures.
Despite the melancholy tone of the story, the game rarely lingers on these moments – instead always pushing the player forward into the next enemy filled area.
Each chapter is its own comic book containing three levels and a final boss. Levels are set up as comic panels, with the ability to choose the direction you want to go in. Panels may contain enemies, challenges, unexpected boss fights, or loot. The levels change every time so you never know what you may encounter. It is not necessary to complete every panel to progress to the next level, although it is recommended as every kill helps level Fury up.
Like Dead Cells before it, Fury Unleashed isn’t meant to be beaten in one playthrough. The game expects players to experiment and die often, each time gaining more experience to level Fury up, which in turn will allow you to progress further in your next playthrough. Black Ink is collected from downed enemies and can be used to purchase various items while gold ink is used to interact with characters you’ll randomly encounter. Various starting items can be unlocked as well, including melee weapons and rocket launchers, helping Fury become more threatening at the beginning of a level rather than hoping to stumble across powerful weapons randomly in a comic panel.
While this method of progression inherently forces the player to replay sections repeatedly, Fury Unleashed never becomes stale. Levels are short and fast and playthroughs may take as little as five minutes or as long as an hour, depending on skill.
Once you complete a comic and its final boss you are automatically thrust into the next comic, but if you die you will be forced back to the beginning. Only once you beat a comic’s three main bosses – which appear at random after completing the three levels of a comic – can you unlock the ability to begin from the start of the next comic.
Fury does not gain health between levels, so players must balance health, armor, and weapon skills if they hope to progress. Leveling up Fury will eventually grant him abilities to regenerate health throughout a playthrough, but this never comes easy and never feels like a safe bet to completely heal. This constant search for health keeps players on their toes and helps Fury Unleashed maintain tension despite how far you level Fury up.
Fury Unleashed has a hard and easy mode, although the developers make it clear that they intend for players to play on hard. Thankfully, you can switch between modes at any time without losing progress, so there’s no harm in trying hard mode and reverting to easy if you encounter a particularly grueling section. Achievements are disabled for the most part in easy mode, although a few are still obtainable.
Fury begins with only a katana and an SMG. Throughout your playthroughs you’ll unlock the shotgun, sniper rifle, rocket launcher, axe, mace, and baseball bat as starting items. More powerful weapons are found scattered throughout levels, but the better starting weapon Fury has, the more likely he is to progress.
Fury can be customized, allowing players a bit of freedom. You can be male or female, change accessories, hair style and color, war paint, skin tone, etc. New designs unlock as you progress.
Fury Unleashed was a welcome surprise for me. What I expected at first glance to be another fast paced shooter thankfully turned out to have a nuanced story and a great upgrade system which kept me pushing forward or replaying sections just to unlock more abilities.
Unfortunately, Fury Unleashed averages out to only about 6 or 8 hours of play time for a first run through, but there is a ton of replay value and the ability to play co-op to help keep players entertained for many more hours.
If you’re looking for a game that can be enjoyed as a shooter, platformer, and for its story – look no further than Fury Unleashed.
Fury Unleashed is available now on Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PS4, Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX. Special thanks to Awesome Games Studio for providing Fan Fest News with a review code.